I experienced the true power of guanxi today for the first time since arriving in China.
Having managed to put my neck seriously out of joint through a misguided attempt to start a fitness regime, I managed to compound my misery by getting a piece of glass stuck in my foot.
Unable to bend my neck to get it out, I succeeded only in driving it deeper. My friendly neighbor came to my assistance, but instead of reaching for the tweezers, she reached for the phone and called her friend at the local hospital.
Twenty minutes later I had bypassed the queue in the CT ward and a highly trained doctor, more accustomed to operating million-dollar scanning equipment than a 10 RMB pair of hospital tweezers, was bent over my foot, extracting the piece of glass.
It’s probably not the best way to use scarce resources, but I wasn’t complaining. As they say, “when in Rome”.
Now, if I can only find the right contact for that million-dollar business venture I have in the pipeline.